the community site for and by developmental biologists

Site update and dates for your calendar

Posted by on September 15th, 2011

Scheduled Node Maintenance: This weekend (September 16-18) we’re upgrading the system that the Node runs on (WordPress), so you may not be able to access the site at times. Everything should be working again on Monday, but as always, if you spot anything unusual, let us know. Update 18/9: the site upgrade is now complete,[…]

Final Day at The EMBO Meeting – Behaviour and lots of Movies!

Posted by on September 14th, 2011

The famous Richard Axel kicked off the last day in Vienna by presenting new data on how olfactory information is projected from the olfactory bulb to the cortex. After his keynote lecture, the talks in the plenary session continued with a focus on the brain and how it drives behaviour in different circumstances or environments[…]

An Interview with Janet Rossant

Posted by on September 13th, 2011

I arranged to talk to Professor Janet Rossant after her talk at The EMBO Meeting here in Vienna. Janet is Chief of Research at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, besides being a University Professor at the University of Toronto. Throughout her career she has been and still is making major contributions to the[…]

Sunday at The EMBO Meeting – (Mis)folding proteins and an entire session on blastocysts!

Posted by on September 12th, 2011

Here’s my brief roundup of day two at The EMBO Meeting. It started with Susan Lindquist‘s excellent talk on how cells react to stress by synthesising lots of new heat-shock proteins, which help proteins to fold properly. Susan discussed Hsp90 in more detail. It’s a highly specific protein chaperone, helping diverse signalling proteins to fold.[…]

The profession that isn’t

Posted by on September 10th, 2011

This post was my contribution to Science is Vital’s latest campaign on science careers. If you haven’t done so yet, I warmly encourage to get involved with the movement. THE PROFESSION THAT ISN’T As I enter the last 6 months of my first postdoc, I am confronted by a number of issues with having chosen[…]

An Informative Career Day at The EMBO Meeting in Vienna

Posted by on September 10th, 2011

What shall I do, and once decided, how can I get my dream job after completing my PhD or postdoc, especially if I don’t want to become a group leader? Questions many of us ask ourselves sooner or later, and there are more options than the pessimistic among us might be able to imagine. These[…]

Satellite cells muscle their way into the stem cell spotlight

Posted by on September 8th, 2011

Researchers have long known about regeneration of injured muscles, and have debated about the exact source of the muscle stem cells that perform this amazing feat.  A group of papers in a recent issue of Development shine a stem cell spotlight on satellite cells. Following injury, skeletal muscles are regenerated by muscle stem cells, but[…]

Optical clearing with Scale

Posted by on September 8th, 2011

Transparency. A desirable virtue in many walks of life, and a particularly useful trait in developmental biology.  Model organisms that are see-through offer unique advantages, especially when it comes to detailed 3D imaging. A new report in Nature Neuroscience offers a potential advance in this area. Researchers from Japan have stumbled upon a novel aqueous[…]

Turtles in a nutshell

Posted by on September 7th, 2011

Turtles are peculiar vertebrates. They have a compact skull with no temporal openings, a beak instead of teeth, a contractible neck, and a shell covering its trunk. The famous turtle shell is composed of two halves, a plastron (ventral) and a carapace (dorsal). The latter is an exquisite arrangement of vertebrae and fan-shaped ribs with[…]

Leaving the lab: career development for developmental biologists

Posted by on September 6th, 2011

Over the past months, we’ve heard from several people who left research for a career away from the bench. Now, a summary of all these posts appears in Development, followed by some tips for graduate students, postdocs, and their supervisors. Below is the full text of the article, but it’s also free on Development, and[…]